Actor, musician, artist, and changeling David Bowie was able to leave us with a vast collection of his creativity by the time he passed away at age 69. His influence on our world will be felt for generations.

11 Life Lessons From David Bowie

David Bowie gave us some wisdom to reflect on through his words. Here are eleven life lessons we can learn from David Bowie.

david bowie

1. Humor is important.

I re-invented my image so many times that I’m in denial that I was originally an overweight Korean woman.

I’m looking for backing for an unauthorized auto-biography that I am writing. Hopefully, this will sell in such huge numbers that I will be able to sue myself for an extraordinary amount of money and finance the film version in which I will play everybody.

I’m always amazed that people take what I say seriously. I don’t even take what I am seriously.

2. Never settle for less.

I always had a repulsive need to be something more than human.

I’m not a prophet or a stone aged man, just a mortal with potential of a superman. I’m living on.

3. Find a way around your limitations.

I had to resign myself, many years ago, that I’m not too articulate when it comes to explaining how I feel about things. But my music does it for me, it really does.

The only art I’ll ever study is stuff that I can steal from.

4. Be a visionary.

The absolute transformation of everything that we ever thought about music will take place within 10 years, and nothing is going to be able to stop it. I see absolutely no point in pretending that it’s not going to happen. I’m fully confident that copyright, for instance, will no longer exist in 10 years.

The humanists’ replacement for religion: work really hard, and somehow you’ll either save yourself or you’ll be immortal. Of course, that’s a total joke, and our progress is nothing. There may be progress in technology, but there’s no ethical progress whatsoever.

5. Come to terms with your inner ghosts.

On the other hand, what I like my music to do to me is awaken the ghosts inside of me. Not the demons, you understand, but the ghosts.

There’s a terror in knowing what the world is about.

Strangely, some songs you really don’t want to write. I didn’t like writing ‘Heathen’. There was something so ominous and final about itÉthese words were just streaming out and tears were running down my face. But I couldn’t stop, they just flew out. It’s an odd feeling, like something else is guiding you, although forcing your hand is more like it.

6. Be humble in your greatness.

What I do is I write mainly about very personal and rather lonely feelings, and I explore them in a different way each time. You know, what I do is not terribly intellectual. I’m a pop singer for Christ’s sake. As a person, I’m fairly uncomplicated.

Frankly, I mean, sometimes the interpretations I’ve seen on some of the songs that I’ve written are a lot more interesting than the input that I put in.

7. Then again, when you’re great, let people know it.

To not be modest about it, you’ll find that with only a couple of exceptions, most of the musicians I’ve worked with have done their best work far from me.

I believe that I often bring out the best in somebody’s talents.

You would think that a rock star being married to a super-model would be one of the greatest things in the world. It is.

8. Create a unique perspective.

I think Mick Jagger would be astounded and amazed if he realized that to many people he is not a sex symbol, but a mother image.

When I’m stuck for a closing to a lyric, I will drag out my last resort: overwhelming illogic.

9. Fame is not all it is cracked up to be.

Fame can take interesting men and thrust mediocrity upon them.

I would guess that Madonna is not a very happy woman. From my own experience, having gone through persona changes like that, that kind of clawing need to be the center of attention is not a pleasant place to be.

10. Recognize your roots.

I’ve always regretted that I never could talk openly with my parents, especially with my father. I’ve heard so many things about my family that I can no longer believe anything; every relative I question has a completely different story from the last.

I’m very at ease, and I like it. I never thought I would be such a family-oriented guy; I didn’t think that was part of my makeup. But somebody said that you become the person you should have been as you get older, and I feel that’s happening to me. I’m rather surprised at who I am because I’m like my dad!

david bowie

11. Make the most of what little time you have.

The questions come down to about two or three as you get older. How long? And what do I do with the time I’ve got left?

Confront a corpse at least once. The absolute absence of life is the most disturbing and challenging confrontation you will ever have.

Once you lose that sense of wonder at being alive, you’re pretty much on the way out.

That’s the shock: All cliches are true. The years really do speed by. Life really is as short as they tell you it is. And there really is a God – so do I buy that one? If all the other cliches are true… Hell, don’t pose me that one.